Read part one of this series: Are you READY? Prepping Your Call Center for Busy Season.
Before busy season hits, your team needs to be aware of vacation time and paid time off. This doesn’t mean you must issue a complete blackout period, but you need to ensure you have adequate coverage for peak season. Remind your staff that if they have vacations planned, they need to turn in those requests sooner rather than later, and the requests will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis. We should also plan accordingly ahead of time if we have people out because of cross training. This may be as simple as a refresher course for the backup staff on the phones. This could also mean the backup dispatcher gets a more thorough how-to on dispatching according to the technicians’ skill sets. A group meeting with a quick reminder that all staff are responsible for the success of the company, or a peak-season kickoff meeting, is a great way to get things going and get your team to think about the future days ahead.
Next, you should cover how to handle complaints or disgruntled customers. With an increase in the sheer volume of calls at your business, you may also notice an increase in a couple of these unhappy customers. We need to remind our team the proper process and procedures to handle upset customers. This includes empowerment levels, chain of command, active listening, and clearly defined ways to ensure these upset customers are heard and addressed promptly and do not fall through the cracks in the hustle and bustle of our peak season days.
On a final note, how to handle call backs and warranty calls should also be addressed with your staff. If you do not have a priority list of all your customers and basic call types, you should develop one before the peak season gets into full swing. We often tend to put warranty calls and call backs on the back burner to get to the money calls, and this is a recipe for disaster. Make sure your team knows how to handle these types of calls with an empathetic ear and a straightforward message to get the problem resolved.
Inevitably, the success of your peak season will be determined before the first heat wave hits. If you are properly preparing now, you are setting you, your team and your business up for success. The key to thriving, not just merely surviving, your peak season starts now. Get the team together and start devising a plan of action. Begin implementing now to insure you have the best season and provide excellent service to not only your customers, but also your staff and your bottom line!